As a child my mother always taught me the tongue can wield a blessing or curse and hands can build or destroy. In the current state of affairs, violence, hatred and misogyny are the norm rather than an aberration. Mass shootings at churches and schools have become common events. While we all know what hate feels and looks like, in our pessimism did we forget how powerful being nice and blessing others can be? Imagine what our world would be like if each of us blessed someone every day. What would our country be like? What would our communities look like? What would our schools be like if we made being a blessing a priority rather than concentrating on negativity? Galatians 6:10 reads, “Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people.” That means be proactive in spreading goodness and blessing others. Our mindset should be, “Who can I bless today?” “Who needs a little love?” You can’t just sit back and wait for the need to come to you. About a week ago, I had the pleasure of blessing one of my biggest supporters, Clifton Lee by showing up to his dinner party as the surprise guest. Clifton recently moved from South Carolina to Dallas for a job opportunity despite some grave medical issues. Although he has a heart of gold, Clifton whom is only 23 years old is a dialysis patient who desperately needs a new kidney. All of his friends say not a day goes by that he doesn’t mention or speak about me. When his boss called me and shared his moving story, I knew I had to be there. Upon first sight, I knew my presence blessed him and his love for me made my soul smile. Watch and see for yourself:
As conscious adults, it is imperative that we are both tough and tender. While the majority of us succeed at one or the other by default, the challenge is being able to balance the two, depending on the situation and what would be most beneficial. Children are sensitive, scared innocent little people. They need certain essentials to learn how to be resilient, how to care for others, and how to turn failure into triumph. Positive self-esteem starts with positive influences, whether it be a parent, teacher, grandparent or older siblings. Children learn by observation and interaction. Regardless of a child’s age, it is imperative that they receive positive, uplifting words from their inner circle. 1. “I love you.” – A child could have a million toys but nothing can ever top the love received. Reassuring a child of your love for them lets them know they are valuable. These affirmations include love; promotes courage, healing, and brings joy. 2. “I believe in you.” – It is important for children to know that you believe in them. Knowing that they have a strong support system equips them to accomplish their goals and dreams. 3. “I’m so proud of you.” – Children need a surplus of affirmations and validations in order to develop a healthy sense of self. Children crave support and blessings, and direct most of their behaviors towards gaining your approval, love and acceptance. 4. “I’m sorry.” When you admit your mistakes to your children, you show them you are compassionate and empathetic. Being transparent shows them that no one is perfect. 5. “ I’m listening” – It is incredibly important to listen to your children so they know that you are interested in what they have to say. Through listening, you learn about who your children are on the inside. It connects you to their inner world and facilitates a sense of value. 6. “NO” – Sometimes the most loving and caring thing you can tell a child is NO. While children can always effectively communicate the need for rules and boundaries, they know “NO” means you are alert and present. Rest assured, they will not always appreciate hearing it at the moment but years later they will circle back and appreciate your clear boundaries. By saying NO to the wrong things, it allows us to say YES to the right things.